I am not an Irish-French Canadian-American, I am an American descended from Irish-French Canadian ancestry. Ireland and Canada have no hold over me. I am an American, and Americans are what my children will be. I was born in the land of the free. When someone says they are Mexican-American or African-American or German, Italian, French or any other country American, what they are really saying is they are not proud to be an American first and foremost.
While it is important to know about where your ancestors hailed from, and important to pass on traditions, don’t lose sight of the fact that desperation, in many more instances than not, drove our ancestors to America. They came to this country because they were fleeing socialistic and or religious oppression, and in many cases, starvation. They came because of a lack of opportunity and an excess of tyranny in their countries of origin. So while it is important you should know your family history, you live in America, and you are an American.
America is still the greatest country on the face of the earth, and will always be, so long as Americans remain unified and self-governing. America is not perfect, but it is the best this world has to offer. If you want to be proud of a country, start with where you live first, for me it is AMERICA!
Mark Shean, written Oct. 1996 at “Grampys Camp” St. Froid Lake, Maine